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TweakTown News Posts - Page 79

Affluent tech users helping spur cellular-powered tablet growth in US

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Feb 11, 2015 6:53 pm

Almost 16 million tablets used by the end of 2014 were running on a cellular data plan, a massive 95 percent increase year-over-year, according to the NPD Group.

 

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Consumers with a tablet connected to a cellular network have an average household income of $105,000, which is $17,000 more than Wi-Fi-connected tablet owners. The report also revealed 57 percent of cellular-connected tablet owners are college graduates, compared to 51 percent of Wi-Fi tablet owners, the NPD report found.

 

"Cellular-embedded tablet use is growing rapidly, however, for it to become a mass market product mobile carriers need to appeal to a mass market audience," said John Buffone, executive director of the Connected Intelligence department of the NPD Group. "While 2014 marked the year consumers activated cellular enabled tablets, 2015 must become the year this technology reaches a broader demographic audience."

Continue reading 'Affluent tech users helping spur cellular-powered tablet growth in US' (full post)

Mobile payments expected to see boost in 2015, thanks to Apple Pay

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Mobile Devices, Tablets & Phones | Posted: Feb 11, 2015 6:15 pm

A growing number of retailers are adopting various forms of mobile payments, and while consumers still prefer cash and debit/credit card payments, mobile payment could be on the upswing. US mobile payment volume will reach close to 15 percent, growing at 172 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) by 2019, according to a new Business Insider Intelligence report.

 

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Apple Pay is the early leader among mobile payment services, though CurrentC and other platforms will be able to attract non-iPhone users. Google Android solutions, such as Softcard and Google Wallet, have seen increased interest following the launch of Apple Pay.

 

Mobile payments may still be in its infancy, and consumers are worried about security and ease-of-use, but providers will have time to work out the kinks. Meanwhile, additional retailers are expected to explore options available to give consumers more payment options at checkout.

Smartphone kill switch legislation has led to drop in phone theft

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Feb 11, 2015 5:10 pm

The introduction of smartphone kill switches by manufacturers and wireless carriers helped reduce the number of device thefts in New York City, San Francisco, and London, supporters say. Apple iPhone theft in San Francisco dropped 40 percent, reported incidents slid 25 percent in New York, and thefts in London were cut in half.

 

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The software kill switch allows phone owners to lock lost or stolen devices, along with bricking devices so they cannot be used or sold on the black market.

 

"The huge drops in smartphone theft have occurred since the kill switch has been on the market are evidence that our strategy is making people safer in our cities, and across the world," said Eric Schneiderman, New York State Attorney General, in a statement.

Continue reading 'Smartphone kill switch legislation has led to drop in phone theft' (full post)

Nation states launching cyberespionage attacks becoming normal

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Feb 11, 2015 4:25 pm

It's not just the United States and UK launching sophisticated cyberespionage attacks against foreign government states, with China, Russia, Iran, North Korea, and other nations increasingly jumping into the fun. Groups in China and Russia have been linked to major data breaches, such as Target, The Home Depot, Anthem, Sony Pictures, with future breaches expected to happen.

 

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China is the most active country involved in launching cyberattacks, routinely targeting US infrastructure - and other lucrative targets, such as financial institutions and government departments. As witnessed by CrowdStrike, skilled Chinese hacker groups are able to adapt their strategies while avoiding detection.

 

The Obama administration has publicly criticized China for its cyberespionage activities, but has been unable to launch any meaningful political crackdowns.

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Ransomware attacks increasing, as cybercriminals perfect their skills

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Hacking & Security | Posted: Feb 11, 2015 3:15 pm

Consumers and business users face a wide variety of different cyberattacks, and security experts are increasingly concerned about ransomware. Ransomware, a custom form of malware designed to hijack computers and work files, typically encrypt vital documents - unless a ransom is paid.

 

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Microsoft Windows PC users face the largest threat from CryptoWall, a ransomware variation that has uncrackable encryption and uses anonymity networks to avoid detection.

 

Another nasty form of ransomware recently discovered is Invincea, which delivers the payload straight to system memory instead of targeting files on a hard drive. "This particular strain is new and quite harmful as it takes advantage of file-less infections that can communicate through the TOR network," said Stu Sjouwerman, CEO of KnowBe4. "We are going to continue to see more and more ransomware this year and this is just the latest innovation."

Continue reading 'Ransomware attacks increasing, as cybercriminals perfect their skills' (full post)

Report: Almost half of jobs under pressure from robotic advancements

By: Michael Hatamoto | More News: Science, Space & Robotics | Posted: Feb 11, 2015 1:20 pm

The development of robotics and big data are putting pressure on the US workforce, with almost half of US jobs facing pressure from robots, according to a report issued by Citigroup and University of Oxford researchers.

 

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Robots and automated technology have had an impact in factories and mid-level positions, but developments could lead to increased pressure on low-skill occupations, the report notes. To make matters worse, manufacturers are adopting the use of more robots in factories and offices, with the humanoids able to better complete tasks.

 

"The bulk of service occupations, where the most US job growth has occurred over the past decades, are now at risk," according to the report. "Already the market for personal and household service robots is growing by about 20 percent annually - a trend that is likely to continue."

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Atari announces next-gen Asteroids, launches it as a survival game

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Feb 11, 2015 12:53 pm

I'm sure you remember Asteroids, but I bet you didn't see this one coming. Atari has just teased a multiplayer-focused survival game for the PC through Steam's Early Access program, called Asteroids: Outpost.

 

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Atari describes the game as: "Set in the distant future, Asteroids: Outpost thrusts players into a harsh deep space environment. While on a massive, unforgiving asteroid, players face the challenges of exploring the asteroid, collecting resources, scavenging for ore, crafting equipment, and expanding their territory as they build highly customized bases - all while forming alliances and fighting off other players in challenging multiplayer gameplay. Recurring showers of smaller asteroids represent a source of wealth and a threat as players shoot down these incoming projectiles to defend their claims and harvest their components".

STALKER developer teases new game, will defend the STALKER franchise

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Gaming | Posted: Feb 11, 2015 11:41 am

The developer behind the STALKER franchise, GSC Game World, has begun teasing its upcoming game. There's nothing known about it just yet, but the developer has also come out swinging for its STALKER franchise, saying that it will defend it from other developers.

 

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Back in February 2011, GSC Game World terminated any and all work on its next STALKER game, closing the company down. The core team behind STALKER went off to Vostok Games, but Public Relations Director for GSC Game World, Valentine Yeltyshev has said that he stepped away from the games industry entirely, moving into a career on the motorcross circuit. He's now back with GSC Game World, but he's had quite a few years.

 

Yeltyshev has said that GSC Game World is back, and that they have an eye on West Games' STALKER: Apocalypse. STALKER: Apocalypse hit Kickstarter, but disappeared pretty quickly, taking to a service called Wfunder. Wfunder is a crowdfunding platform that is similar to Kickstarter, but isn't based in the US. Yeltyshev has dismissed West Games, saying that the team doesn't have what it takes, or the permission, to make a STALKER game. He said: "We started to develop a Flash-based, a web-based STALKER before 2011. An isometric, open-world STALKER. And that was these guys [that make up the core of West Games]. When we realized that this project would not be as good as we wanted it to be, we closed the project".

Continue reading 'STALKER developer teases new game, will defend the STALKER franchise' (full post)

Apple invests $848 million into a First Solar plant in California

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Feb 11, 2015 10:32 am

Apple has just announced it is investing $848 million into a First Solar plant in California's Monterey County, something that will generate enough electricity to power a huge 60,000+ homes.

 

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Apple will receive a 130-megawatt supply from the solar farm which it will use to power its future campus, while the remaining 150 megawatts will find a home with Pacific Gas & Energy's grid. This is a big deal, as it represents the biggest commercial deal that has ever happened in the solar industry.

NVIDIA release GeForce Game Ready 347.52 WHQL drivers for Evolve

By: Anthony Garreffa | More News: Software | Posted: Feb 11, 2015 9:40 am

Now that Evolve is here, NVIDIA is on the ball with some Game Ready drivers for GeForce owners with the new GeForce 347.52 WHQL drivers. The new set of drivers include performance optimizations, new SLI profiles and more.

 

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If you haven't heard of Evolve, it's from the makers of Left 4 Dead, Turtle Rock Studios. It's a 4 vs. 1 action game that can be played online or offline, with four class-based hunters taking on a massive monster that wants to demolish you. As for the GeForce 347.52 WHQL drivers, there are performance improvements for Assassin's Creed: Unity, Battlefield 4, Dragon Age: Inquisition, The Crew, War Thunder, and more.

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